The veteran director Mike De Leon recently uploaded on his Vimeo account (Citizen Jake) the restored version of Nick Joaquin’s A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, which is available for streaming from November 13 – 15, 2020.
The black-and-white English-language film was directed by the very first National Artist for Film Lamberto V. Avellana and featured exceptional artists from the ’60s, including Daisy H. Avellana, Naty Crame-Rogers, Vic Silayan, and Conrad Parham.
Set in the pre-World War II Intramuros, Old Manila, in October 1941, the film follows the story of a great yet impoverished painter, Don Lorenzo Marasigan, and his two daughters, Candida and Paula, who are dealing with the ravages of poverty. The film’s central theme focuses on maintaining the old Filipino identity in the onslaught of Western ideals and explores the concept of family conflict and many aspects of the Philippine high society during that time.
The film was based on a well-known literary play of the same title written in English by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin in 1950. In 2014, the Film Development Council of the Philippines and master director Mike De Leon funded the restoration of the film. The restoration was carried out by L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy, and re-released by Cinema Artists Philippines in 2015.
In 2017, the famous literary play was adapted into a musical film entitled Ang Larawan directed by Loy Arcenas, which won Best Picture at the 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival. The cast includes Rachel Alejandro, Joanna Ampil, Celeste Legaspi, Noel Trinidad, Bernardo Bernardo, Nanette Inventor, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Nonie Buencamino, Cris Villonco, Aicelle Santos, Cara Manglapus, Sandino Martin, Paulo Avelino, and Dulce.
You can watch and support some local films on MOOV, Cinema Centenario’s video on-demand online channel.